Twelve-year-old Basiru Sowe is one of a growing number of child vendors who provide for their families by hawking cheap goods on the streets of Banjul.
He is from Senegal.
“I am from Kaolack”, he said. “My dad is sick and can no longer provide for the family. That is why I came to The Gambia to work.”
Basiru arrived in the country two months ago with two of his friends. They all live together in Latri Kunda Sabiji, he told What’s On-Gambia.
“I sell belts that are made in Senegal. But my intention is to start a stall either in Banjul or Serre Kunda, where I can make enough money to support my family back home.”
Unlike many young vendors, Basiru doesn’t smoke or steal from people.
“I am not in The Gambia to cause trouble. My mother struggled to provide the money I used to come here and start something. She wouldn’t be happy if I do anything otherwise.”
According to the 12-year-old, he is the second son of his mother.
“My elder brother is also a vendor, but he is in Mali. I chose The Gambia because it’s peaceful and the people are friendly”.